Leavenworth is Washington State’s premier rock climbing destination. Situated in the rain shadow of the Cascade Range, Leavenworth is an ideal location for rock guiding and instruction due to its relatively dry environment. Leavenworth's rock climbing neatly divides into 3 main areas: Icicle Creek Canyon, Tumwater Canyon, and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. In addition to these three cragging areas, Leavenworth has developed into one of the best bouldering areas on the West Coast.
The Northwest Mountain School offers daily rock climbing lessons and guided rock climbs near Leavenworth. Due to a drier east side location our season starts in early March and most years can run into early November. Trip offerings range from half-day climbs to multi-day adventures in the mountains around Leavenworth. We offer basic instruction, but can also provide rock rescue and lead climbing instruction.
The following links will lead you to various pages on our website that detail a variety of options for those wanting to either learn to climb or move closer to being able to climb on their own. If you have any questions it is often best to give us a call at 509-548-5823 so that we can direct you to the most appropriate itinerary for the skills you want to develop.
Located a few miles SW of downtown Leavenworth, the “Icicle” is home to the majority of the Leavenworth area rock climbing. Icicle Creek has a nice mix of route difficulties and lengths that allow beginners and veterans alike to find appropriate climbs on just about any day from March through October.
The Tumwater lies to the NW of Leavenworth and is a much more rugged and steep canyon than the Icicle. While there is likely more climbable rock in the Tumwater, than the Icicle, access to many of the larger walls is complicated enough to keep most climbers away. The primary area used by guides is Castle Rock, but recent route development and exploration provides us with a several other venues on days when we are looking for quiet out of the way spots to climb.
Snowcreek Wall is the accessible gem of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness rock climbing scene. We offer guided climbs of Snow Creek wall via routes such as Outer Space, Orbit, and more challenging lines on this 5 to 8 pitch high granite wall. For those wishing to go deeper into the Alpine Lakes we offer long one-day and overnight climbs to spots such as Mt. Stuart, Dragontail Peak, Colchuck Peak, Ingalls Peak, Sherpa Peak, and other mountains within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. We are not able to offer climbs on Prussick Peak as this lies within the Enchantments permit area and this area is closed to commercial use.
Our guided rock climbing courses last from a few hours to several days, depending on what you are looking for. Most programs are organized on a private basis and the cost is determined by the ratio of climbers to guides and the length of the course. We offer basic instruction in all forms of rock climbing as well as rock rescue, lead climbing, multi-pitch climbing, and teach very specific skills such as belay-station management, in order to improve an individual climber’s efficiency. We also are available for those who are simply looking for a partner when in town for a day or those who want to climb a specific route or wall within our permit area.
We find that one of the main things a guide can provide climbers new to Leavenworth is a very efficient tour of an area that is notoriously complicated to navigate. On a hot day a guide can string together 6-8 pitches of rock out of the sun, at your grade, while on a cool day they can time things so that you get an equal amount of climbing in while managing to stay in the sun.
- Saber (5.5) - Tumwater
- Classic Crack (5.8+) - Icicle
- Dogleg Crack (5.8+) - Icicle
- Janetors of Justice (5.8+) - Icicle
- Forty-Four Fifty (5.9) - Icicle
- Gun Rack (5.9) - Tumwater
- Poison Ivy Crack (5.9) - Icicle
- Ski Tracks Crack (5.9) - Icicle
- The Bone (5.9) - Tumwater
- Celestial Groove (5.9+) - Icicle
- Cocaine Crack (5.10a) - Icicle
- Meatgrinder (5.10a) - Icicle
- Bo Derek (5.10b) - Icicle
- Z-Crack (5.10c) - Icicle (often top roped)
- Mr. Clean (5.10c) - Tumwater
- Carnival Crack (5.10d) - Icicle (offwidth)
- Pumpline (5.11a) - Icicle
- ROTC (5.11c) - Tumwater
- Right Crack - Mountaineers Dome (5.2 - 2P) - Icicle
- Saber-Cat Burgler (5.6 - 3P) - Tumwater
- Midway-Midway Direct (5.6 - 3P) - Tumwater
- R&D (5.6 - 4P) - Icicle
- Tree Route (5.6 - 2P) - Icicle
- Groundhog Day (5.7 - 3P) - Tumwater
- Canary (5.8 - 2P) - Tumwater
- The Fault-Catapult (5.8 - 3P) - Tumwater
- Givler’s Crack (5.8 - 3P) - Icicle
- Saints (5.8+ - 3P) - Tumwater
- Yard Art (5.9 - 2P) - Icicle
- Cloud Nine (5.9+ - 2P) - Icicle
- Heart of Gold (5.10- - 4P) - Icicle
- Bale-Kramar Route (5.10b - 4P) - Icicle
- Brass Balls (5.10b - 2P) - Tumwater
- Regular Route (5.10b - 4P) - Icicle
- Baby Steps (5.4) - Icicle
- Crab Cakes (5.8+) - Icicle
- Don’t Forget Arete (5.9) - Icicle
- Jazzy Document (5.9) - Icicle
- Stone’s Throw (5.9) - Icicle
- Nose Job (5.9+) - Icicle
- Veins of Glory (5.10b) - Icicle
- Condorphamine Addiction (5.10b - 7P) - Icicle
- Ingalls Peak - South Ridge (5.4 - 3P)
- Mt. Stuart - West Ridge (5.6 - 18+P)
- Ingalls Peak - East Ridge (5.7 - 5P)
- Mt. Stuart - Upper North Ridge (5.7-5.9 - 18P)
- Dragontail Peak - Serpentine Ridge (5.8 - 13P)
- Orbit (5.8+ - 5P) - Snowcreek Wall
- Sherpa Peak - North Ridge (5.8 - 12P)
- Dragontail Peak - Backbone Ridge (5.9 - 13P)
- Outer Space (5.9 - 6P) - Snowcreek Wall
- Iconoclast (5.10c - 6-8P) - Snowcreek Wall
- Hyperspace (5.10d - 6-8P) - Snowcreek Wall
Wenatchee River Ranger District for details.
Sleeping Lady Retreat and Conference Center
Run of the River Inn
Howard Johnson Inn - Leavenworth
Icicle Village Resort
Portions of this program take place on US Forest Service lands under a commercial-outfitter and guide permits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities and is an equal opportunity provider and employer.